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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

RUSTAD – Electoral Boundary Commission Bill could mean eliminating protection of rural ridings

 


Today, the BC NDP Government introduced an electoral boundary commission bill with the stated goal of adding 6 new ridings and eliminating the protection of rural ridings.

 

I will need to go through this bill in detail but on the surface, here is what it will likely mean:

  • BC has about 5.3 million people

  • increasing MLAs from 87 to 93 means the average riding population should be about 57,000

  • From 100 Mile House north, there is about 340,000 people. At 57,000 average population, the north could have as few as 6 seats from its current 10 seats

  • The Electoral Boundary Commission can still use the "very special circumstances" (this means a riding can be more than the standard 25% deviation from the average) but they will likely only use that for 2 or 3 ridings at most

  • The results will likely be a reduction in northern representation by 2 or 3 seats in the north and likely 1 from the Kootenays

  • Combined with the added seats, the balance of electoral representation in BC will forever be changed as the new seats, and the reduced seats, will be located in the lower mainland

 

You can influence this process.

 

The electoral boundary commission will hold hearings throughout the province. Attend these meetings. Voice your perspective. Send written emails and letters to the electoral boundary commission to express your perspective. Lobby local governments and regional district reps to add their voice to the process.

 

I will post more once I'm able to review this bill. The electoral boundary commission must be appointed by this fall and have their work completed at least one year before the next provincial election.

 

John Rustad ... was re-elected MLA of Nechako Lakes last Fall, and currently serves as the Official Opposition Critic for Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources, as well as sitting on the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders, and Private Bills

 

Born and raised in Prince George, John has lived in northern B.C. all his life. When time permits, he enjoys golfing and watersports. In 2009, he and his wife Kim moved to Cluculz Lake, where they enjoy the quiet beauty of rural living.

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